This is a Rant about Sony Smartphones. I don’t mean to offend anyone in this Rant, it’s just my thoughts.
You know what, I have been asked this question for the longest time; “Why Don’t you recommend Sony devices?”. I briefly explain to each person, but I thought the best way to express my self is by doing a Rant. So this is Why I personally Don’t recommend Sony devices for a lot of people (As of now). Before I begin, I must say that it’s mostly personal Preference, but Sony is Hardly the Best (or even close of being the best at the rate they are going at the moment). Let me explain myself.
Sony was good, Sony was Damn Good back in like 2010-2011 (or even before that when they had the non-touch devices) when they had the “Sony Ericsson” Branded devices, even the first few “Xperia” devices such as the Xperia Mini Pro, Arc/ Arc S, Play were good and Innovative. They had something better when compared to it’s competition at that time (Mainly Samsung). What was so good? That was the exceptionally well built UI, Well-built phones with Lesser Problems (Yes they weren’t waterproof, but non of them had the issues that their devices have now). Their Timescape UI that was on top of Android ran perfectly and had nice widgets (Especially the Timescape Widget), it was less buggy and it received updates some what better. Time moved on, Sony started producing Way too many devices, they didn’t think, they just did it. They had devices from a lot of letters of the alphabet, such as Xperia J, M, L, S, Z (Just to name a Few). They did Not Concentrate on their UI, or Providing Android updates to it’s users. They just used one design and then tweaked it a bit and released it as a newer device. That’s exactly what Samsung is doing right now, and trust me, if they keep doing the same shit over and over again, they are also going down and you will see me blaming them as well.
What I’m doing right here is not Blaming a Brand, This is just a Rant. This is the Truth and Truth is Bitter I know, and Mark my words, if Samsung starts making Shitty Products, I will blame them too, I have no contract with anyone, I’m just expressing my thoughts. I don’t mind who it is, I’m just talking from the point of a long time Reviewer.
Anyways moving on to the Topic, the Downfall of Sony began with the Xperia Z in my honest opinion (I’m not saying that they are about to go bankrupt or anything, but they just started losing people and that’s where I lost Hope). I have Proof as well. Sony was at No.4 of the Top Smartphone Manufacturers in the World in 2012, but right now they are not even on the Top 5 (they are still in the top 10 I think – I didn’t find a proper source on this). The Top Smartphone Manufactures in the world from 1st to the 5th is (As of 2014), Samsung, Apple, Huwawei, Lenovo and Finally Xiaomi (Interesting company with Ground Breaking Prices – Google the Xiaomi Mi3, or Xiaomi Mi Band; You’ll know what I’m talking about)
So why has the Xperia Z (and the Z Series) brought Sony down? Let me explain. Sony and a lot of people (Including myself) thought that the Xperia Z will be a Good Phone. That Ground breaking device. It had a Nice design, It had decent specs and it was Waterproof (This is why a lot of people bought the device). The Enormous problems with the device started coming out as soon as the Tech reviewers got their hands on the device. Let me point a Few of them, The Xperia Z had the Worst 1080p Display that was used on a Smartphone. It is no longer a secret. I will tell that to anyone! It Really Really did have a Crappy Display. Don’t trust me? Just go to a Store get a Z, Z Ultra, Tab Z or a Z1 and just use it for a moment, you will see what I mean. At first glance the display looks gorgeous, move your head a bit and the display looks so washed out. All I have to say is “Come On Sony!”. Thankfully Sony fixed it with the Z2, and I’m happy to say that it has a Superb Display.
Talking about another issue of the Z line, the device getting Hot. I mean these devices are flagships and they pack power (Top of the line specs) but Sony devices get unusably Hot sometimes (Which makes me wonder whether they want us to put our devices in water when they get too hot). I have seen the Xperia Z2 going over 45 degrees Celsius, That’s unusably Hot! If they want to tell it’s getting hot because the device packs power, they are not correct. Then why aren’t the Galaxy S4, Note 3, HTC One (M7 or M8) or most other top end smartphones getting Unusable Hot? Don’t get me wrong here, all the devices do get hot quite a lot, but not as much as the “Z” line of Xperia Devices from what I have seen in the Past and from what I have experienced (I have held each of these phones, played with these for extended periods of time; So I know what I am talking about). You know the worst problem of having a really hot phone? The device won’t let you take photos nor Videos. It will say “Device is too Hot”. Again, “Come On Sony!”. Hopefully they will work to get it fixed soon with the Z3 and the other future devices.
Next Up Battery Life, the Xperia Z had terrible battery life (Especially if you play games). I once recall seeing a reviewer on Youtube doing a gaming test and to see the device run outa juice in a very very short time (around 2 hours). That’s just crappy Optimization, which brings me to my earlier point where I explained why Sony having a Load of Phones with a lot of alphabetical letters did more bad to the company than good (It’s not like they sold Millions and Millions – What they should have done is to work on lesser no of devices like they do now; Target what the customers what and make precise phones). Similar Story with the Z1 as well, doesn’t have Great Battery life, doesn’t even come close to the Battery Performance of a Note (after all the Note is the King of Smartphone Battery Life). The Z2 ofcoz is doing better, Like Explained in my VERSUS, the Z2 is ok but not Great (You can get 1 day of battery life). Since the Sony device doesn’t offer Fast Charging nor a removable Back, it is quite difficult for a lot of people with constant use to survive.
Next up is the Camera. A lot of people tend to compare the Camera performance with the Mega Pixel Count. It is incorrect! Totally Incorrect! The Z had a 13MP Shooter and it was ok. Things got interesting when the Z1 was launched with the 20.7MP “G” Lens. It had a great technology behind it, but it wasn’t able to beat the Smartphone Camera King of 2013 in My opinion, The Note 3 (I Don’t consider the Lumia 1020 to be a worthy option because of the Low end specs of the device other than the Camera, and since it’s running Windows Phone that’s another problem for me, since I’m High On Android. Anyways, another problem Sony had with the Z1 is the problems of using in manual mode. What I mean by this is when someone use the manual mode instead of the Superior Auto, the Image is captured in 8 MPs, not the Full 20.7 MPs. Sony has fixed this partially, and now we can take images of 15.5 MPs on the Z2, but I still don’t understand the point of having such a powerful sensor if the user can’t tweak the settings. When considering images taken with Superior Auto on the Z2, I have to say that I am very happy about the performance, but it is on Par with the Note 3 from what I have seen. The Galaxy S5 has been chosen by many surveys and by an Industry standard and claims it has the Best Smartphone Camera lens (Yes even surpassing the Lumia 1020). Sony ranks at No.2 with the Z2.
Next up is Software Updates. Like most other Android devices Sony is also very late to update it’s devices, but they are just too late when compared to the competition. Samsung updated their 2013 flagships the S4 (and the Bezy of it’s cousins) and the Note 3 to Kitkat in January. Sony didn’t release it till the end of March. I can remember seeing my friends with the Z & Z1 being stuck on Jellybean. Now if he was using a Samsung device, he would probably just root and install a custom rom like Cyanogenmod or anything else (Flagships have a lot of Roms to choose from). On Sony’s case it is not as easy as on Samsung and it is way risky. I can remember seeing an XDA post when the Xperia Z1 was launched that said the Xperia Z1’s Camera stops working as soon as the bootloader was unlocked. That’s now fixed, but that’s not all. There are way more problems with Sony Devices. It was not that long ago I helped out a Buddy to root his Xperia Z, and what happened as soon as he unlocked the Bootloader? The Play Store Stopped working. The problem didn’t get fixed until the Bootloader was relocked. I mean are you serious? On Samsung, it takes you less than 5 minutes to Root, and Install a custom Rom. whatever you want. On Sony, they are restricting the user so a lot of people are afraid to take the risk because they think it will break their device (It won’t if you do what’s right and as requested by the Dev). In my honest opinion, we should be able to do whatever we want with the device we get. I mean we pay like $500-800 for a Flagship. That’s what I like about Samsung (but it feels like Knox is trying to ruin the party for Samsung, but so far it is good and no unnecessary issues).
Next let’s talk about the Software; The Skin. The Xperia Devices have been using the Same Software for a long time (The Xperia UI has the Same Kind of Icons and Overall look and feel). When I say this some of will want to argue the fact that Samsung’s Touchwiz has been the Same, but I say otherwise. Think about it, Touchwiz has been improving with Features (Gimmicky or not). Though some people call air gestures and Air View features gimmicky, I wouldn’t say it is the same for everyone. It is most certainly not for me. I use all of those features on a daily basis and I love using them. I like touchwiz. By this I don’t mean to say that Sony has to change its whole UI to be like touchwiz or that they have to copy Samsung or follow their path and fill their phone with features, but what I mean is that they need to think, think and think and then implement new and useful features to the UI and make it look nicer. It was a good Skin on top of android when it was launched earlier as I explained earlier. But now it is outdated. Most of it’s WOW Features are gone now. Yes they have implemented new features along the way like Small Apps and Themes, but it is not enough for me and for a lot of consumers. Sony has to do something Unique here if they want to make their phones sell like Galaxy Devices or iPhones. Sony has Top notch hardware, but the Software Degrades the Experience and somehow causes their devices to lag.
This brings me to my next point, Software Lagg. When I say this some might want to argue that Samsung also has that. Yes I totally agree. Samsung has to some extent, if you go overboard with the settings; But the thing is the touchwiz skin is the heaviest skin on Android. But Sony, doesn’t have that problem. Their skin doesn’t have many features and they don’t have many useful stuff. So how can it lag? Now iPhone fan boys don’t try to say it’s a problem with Android, because if you say that you clearly have not used a Nexus device. Sony Lagg is due to the Software not being optimized. Sony really needs to fix this with the Z3.
That’s mostly the Major factors. Sony is a Great Company. They have good Built Quality, and the Upcoming Xperia Z3 looks promising (But I won’t Judge it until I use it). I had a lot of respect for them back in the day as I told in the beginning, but with Sony not putting out THE BEST anymore, I stopped buying Sony devices. I don’t want a Phone just because it is waterproof, or just because it has a good camera. After all it is not the Only Waterproof device available now. I want a Good Genuine All Rounder. I know Sony has the potential to do that, so if Someone from Sony is Reading the Please Please consider what I have told. If you can improve on all these, I will buy your next flagship & recommend it to people, no questions asked! At the current state I hardly can do so. I’m talking from the Point of a person who has had a lot of experience with Smartphones, not just once or twice, but long time use for a long long time, So I know what’s going on, I know when a feature is different. So Please Sony, if you want to survive in the Smartphone space, Fix the Issues.
That’s it for this Rant guys. Hope you enjoyed it. If you did don’t forget to Share this with your friends. If you disagree with any of my thoughts, please feel free to drop a comment down below. I will be answering each and every comment. Cheers!